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About Buster Hein

Buster Hein Buster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.

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Apple releases progress report on its carbon footprint and climate change data

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Apple released its full 2014 Environmental Responsibility report this afternoon with new climate change data and information on the company’s promise to reduce its carbon footprint.

The new report highlights some of the good decisions Apple made to reduce its environmental impact in 2013, by doing things like converting Apple Stores to renewable energy, building solar farms for data centers, as well as its controversial shuttle bus program.

Using the same models it used to calculate its 2013 numbers, Apple decided to recalculate its 2012 emission data and found that its carbon footprint shrank year-over-year for the first time since it began tracking numbers in 2009, but that wasn’t the only good news.

Here’s a quick rundown of the both the good and the bad:

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iOS 8 Maps makes it easier to jump to Google and other navigation apps

applemapsiOS8

Apple Maps crashed and burned coming off the runway in iOS 6, but new additions in iOS 8 beta 3 show Apple’s had a change of heart, and is even making it easier for Apple Maps users to jump to Google Maps and other services thanks to some new UI tweaks.

Starting in iOS 8, users will be able to run a search for locations in Apple Maps and use either Apple’s own driving and walking directions, or switch directly to another app already installed on your device via a simplified menu. 

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Apple pledges to open up about workforce diversity

Beats Music's Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre, and Eddy Cue at Apple HQ

Beats Music’s Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre, and Eddy Cue at Apple HQ

Apple has long been criticized by shareholders for stuffing its leadership ranks with a bunch of old white dudes, but as Tim Cook touched down in Sun Valley Idaho for Allen & Co.’s annual media moguls conference, the Apple CEO said his company is about to be a lot more transparent about its diversity.

Following the path of Google and Facebook, who have publicly released information on the diversity of their workforces this year, Tim Cook pledged Apple will do the same, he’s just not sure how long it will take.

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Apple rats out Google to FTC over in-app purchases

Sewell

If Apple has to pay the FTC, Bruce Sewell, wants Google to pay up for in-app purchases too.

The FTC came down hard on Apple earlier this year for its lack of parental controls for in-app purchases on iOS, so Apple did what anyone caught red handed would do — they ratted out the competition too.

A week after news of the FTC’s investigation broke, Apple’s SVP of legal, Bruce Sewell sent an email to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Commissioner Julie Brill, linking to a scathing Consumer Affairs report that claimed Google Play kids could spend money like drunken sailors.

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Apple TV drops to 3rd place among top streaming devices in U.S.

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Tim Cook swears Apple TV isn’t just a hobby for the mothership anymore, but according to the latest estimates, it might be time for Apple unleashed some new non-hobby Apple TV features if it wants to catch up to Roku and Chromecast.

New data from Parks Associates reveals that while the Apple TV streaming box has been available for over seven years, Chromecast has already surged past Apple TV in 2013, making Google’s tiny stick the most popular streaming device in the U.S.  

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Sweat sensor could make iWatch most personal device ever

iwatch

Design questions aside, the true mystery about Apple’s long-rumored iWatch lies in exactly what types of health-related sensors the wearable might include. A recent report claims the iWatch will sport an astonishing 10 different sensors, including one for sweat.

While pedometers, accelerometers, thermometers and every other o-meter Jony Ive can get his hands on might all make sense for a smartwatch, we’re wondering what Apple could do with a sweat sensor? Other than verify that, yes, your sweat glands are pouring out more fluid per minute than Niagara Falls during your jog?

It turns out that adding sweat sensors would do more than differentiate the iWatch from smartwatches by LG, Motorola and Samsung right out of the gate. It could make the iWatch the most “personal” device you’ve ever shackled yourself to, with surprising applications that go far beyond fitness and health.

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Total iBeacon shipments will blow past 60 million units by 2019

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Apple’s iBeacon tech has been a boon for retail stores looking to advertise deals to customers on a per-location basis, but according to the a new report, retail is only smallest market iBeacons have tapped into.

In five years a swarm of 60 million iBeacons and other Bluetooth LE beacons will have invaded the US market, says a report from ABI Research, all thanks to new applications in everything from enterprise, hospital management, smart homes and personal device tracking:

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iTunes U graduates to 2.0 with new course discussion features

itunesu

iTunes U is making it more simple for students and teachers to connect with a 2.0 update that brings new course creation and discussion features to Apple’s popular educational app.

After being announced last month by Apple, iTunes U received its largest update in over a year this morning that allows iTunes U users to participate in private discussions on their course, posts, or assignments, while also giving teachers more tools to manage their classes while on the go.

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Secret Apple factory outlet is the cheapest place to get an iPhone 5

factoryoutletebaystore

Apple’s semi-secret Factory Clearance store on eBay is back.

Last year Apple used a discreet eBay Store to push out deals on MacBooks, iMacs, and iPods at cheaper prices than the Refurbished Apple Store, but this year’s shop is dedicated to clearing inventory of all the remaining iPhone 5 units at the cheapest price on the web.

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Woz: Nobody on the Macintosh team wanted to work under Jobs again

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Steve Jobs has an enormous reputation for eking out every last drop of performance from his talented employees, but even in the early days of Apple, that maniacal drive for success came with the huge trade-off of driving away his closest friends that built the Macintosh with him.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak gave a brief interview with the Milwaukee Business Journal claiming his relationship with Jobs has been portrayed inaccurately by the media. The Apple co-founders have always been friends and Woz says the two never had an argument, but Woz can’t say the same for the other top engineers at Apple.

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